Part of Scotland Could Break Off From Scotland

Shetland archipelago may want to do its own thing if Scotland gains independence
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2014 11:32 AM CDT
Part of Scotland Could Break Off From Scotland
Shetland may consider breaking away from Scotland if the Scots achieve independence from the UK.   (Shutterstock)

As the world watches to see what happens after Scotland's vote for independence from the UK today, one group of Scots may be considering alternative future plans—to break away from Scotland. If Scotland's "yes" campaign wins out, First Minister Alex Salmond shouldn't necessarily bank on citizens in the Shetland archipelago coming along for the ride, the Guardian reports. "[A] conversation about Shetland's position and the options that might be open to it" could take place if Scotland leaves the UK, says Alistair Carmichael, a Scottish secretary who represents Shetland in Parliament. Among those possibilities: transforming Shetland into a self-governing entity much like the Isle of Man, which is described by the CIA as a "British crown dependency [that] is not part of the UK or the European Union."

The Shetland islands—positioned about 100 miles north of Scotland proper, according to Move Shetland—boast an important resource (oil), and some Shetlanders think they've managed the precious commodity just fine on their own, without Scotland's help. A spokesman for Yes Scotland says Shetland would be better off sticking around: "Scotland's island communities will have greater control over their local economies, natural environment, and be represented at the heart of government in an independent Scotland," he says, as per the Guardian. Shetland was part of Norway until the 15th century, and as one local notes, "We're so different here in Shetland" than Scotland. "We've always had a strong Norse background. We don't have the tartan culture here." (More Scotland stories.)

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